XLVIII Международная филологическая научная конференция

Onomastic fashion in personal naming practices in Russia and Scotland

Наталья Яковлевна Иванченко
Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет

18:00 - 18:30

Ключевые слова, аннотация

Socio-onomastics, onomastic fashion, anthroponymy, anthroponymic praxis, trendy names


In different cultures, societies, in different times, the name for a newborn is never randomly selected. As A. V. Superanskaya rightly noted, onomastic fashion is an objective reality [Суперанская] and the choice of a baby’s name reflects a complex interaction of multiple linguistic and sociolinguistic variables, including that of the onomastic trends. This paper will discuss the specificity of fashion in anthroponymy drawing upon the findings of the comparative analysis of the current trends in anthroponomastic praxis in Russia and Scotland.
The research data in this study come from the official statistics. Thus, as regards popular names in the Russian naming pool, we analysed the personal names rating compiled on the basis of the official statistical reports of a few regional registry offices in Russian Federation with the prevalent Russian-speaking population, as well as the reports of the registry offices of the cities of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg for the period from 2010 to 2017. As for the the most popular first names given to babies registered in Scotland, we relied on the official statistics published annually by the National Records of Scotland.
Despite certain limitations, the research findings do not contradict the initial hypotheses allowing us to draw the following conclusions. Firstly, personal names are subject to changes in fashion. While naming conventions in Russia and Scotland differ in many aspects, there are still similarities in present-day anthroponymic praxis, and modern parents in both Russia and Scotland tend to choose for their children first names that they really like. Moreover, this decision is influenced by the onomastic trends prevalent in each particular culture. Secondly, trendy personal names mirror the onomastic fashion of a certain time period; that is to say, popular names may have a life span of only one generation. Thirdly, the trendy names category includes connotative names that have associations with nature, literature, religious convictions, pop culture, etc., as well as traditional names with clear national and/or cultural identity; yet, this study found some important differences in the composition of the trendy names sections of the respective national naming pools. Lastly, the choice of a popular name in personal naming practices often bears record to people’s creativity that establishes onomastic fashion in the national linguistic culture.
Суперанская А. В. Общая теория имени собственного. Москва: ЛКИ, 2007. 368 с.